old-maps.co.uk site taken down

The old-maps.co.uk web site has suddenly been taken down without prior notice and replaced with a message from Landmark, the owners.

https://www.landmark.co.uk/news-insights/blog/changes-to-old-maps-website/#/Map/376808/427298/12/101104

Thousands of amateur historians and historic building researchers who have used the site for over a decade are now left without an online historical map service.

The company blames the move on consultants and other professionals using the maps without paying a proper fee. A fair point, but why punish those who do play by the rules by removing the service altogether?

Account holders who pay a monthly fee have been left high and dry, without even a prior email explaining what was about to happen. It is being badly handled.

The loss of such an important site to heritage research without notice shows the weakness of providing such a public service via a company which can withhold the public good whenever it likes. Historic maps still reside in our public libraries but ten years of austerity means that almost none are online.

Perhaps now is the time to change this and for a public service to be provided, perhaps by a body such as Historic England.

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